Justice Tan Siong Thye appointed Singapore’s first Deputy Attorney-General

Channel News Asia Reports……


Mr Tan Siong Thye will assume office as Deputy Attorney-General at the Attorney-General’s Chambers on Feb 2, and the appointment will be for a term of three years, the Prime Minister’s Office says.



SINGAPORE: President Tony Tan Keng Yam has appointed Justice Tan Siong Thye as the Republic’s first Deputy Attorney-General (DAG), announced the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Monday (Jan 12).

Mr Tan will leave the Supreme Court to assume office at the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) on Feb 2, and the appointment will be for a term of three years, said the PMO. The appointment was made in concurrence with the advice of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the PMO added.

The Office of the DAG was established pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2014 which was passed by Parliament on Nov 4, 2014, said the AGC in a separate statement.  This is a constitutional appointment where the DAG is accorded the status of a High Court judge.

The establishment of the office of the DAG reflects the increasing volume and complexity of the legal work of the Government and the need for sufficient apex positions in the Executive for those pursuing a legal career in the public sector, added the AGC.

On his appointment as Deputy Attorney-General, Mr Tan said: “I am humbled by this appointment and I will do my utmost to uphold the rule of law. It is an honour to have had the opportunity to serve as a member of the Supreme Court Bench and to be able to work with my fellow Judges and judicial officers to administer justice in Singapore. I have had a fulfilling and enriching experience which will benefit me professionally.”

“I would like to thank the Chief Justice Mr Sundaresh Menon, for the invaluable experience at the Supreme Court,” added Mr Tan. “I would also like to thank the staff of the Supreme Court for their support and assistance. It was indeed a very memorable stint at the Supreme Court. In the meantime, I look forward to working for the (Attorney-General), Mr VK Rajah, who is dynamic and visionary.”


Attorney-General VK Rajah said he was “delighted” by the appointment, adding that Mr Tan will work closely with him and Solicitor-General Mr Lionel Yee to “raise professional standards in the AGC and to better serve Singapore”.

Mr Rajah said Mr Tan brings “unique insights on the administration of justice and a tremendous wealth of experience in many areas, especially in criminal law and in management” and that “his decades of experience will be particularly valuable in guiding and mentoring AGC officers as they handle increasingly complex and challenging cases”.

“This is a new Constitutional appointment that has considerable significance,” added Mr Rajah. “The AGC will be enormously strengthened by his appointment. I can think of no better person to serve as Singapore’s first DAG.”

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon also congratulated Mr Tan, and said: “I congratulate Siong Thye on being appointed Singapore’s first Deputy Attorney-General. I am certain that his experience on the Bench and over the course of a long and distinguished career in the law will stand him in good stead as he assumes this new appointment. I thank Siong Thye for his invaluable contribution to the Bench and for discharging his duties as a Judge with utmost dedication and commitment.”

Mr Tan started his career in the legal service as a Deputy Public Prosecutor in the Attorney General’s Chambers in 1979, said the PMO. He was a district judge at the Subordinate Courts (renamed the State Courts in 2014) from 1986 to 1998, and was the Director of Commercial Affairs Department from 1999 to 2008. He was appointed a Judicial Commissioner of the High Court of Singapore on Oct 1, 2013, before being appointed as a Judge of the High Court of Singapore on Jul 1, 2014. He was a Senior District Judge at the Subordinate Courts in 2008, and Chief District Judge in 2010.

Mr Tan’s career in the Singapore Legal Service is “long and distinguished”, said the PMO. He has also received several national awards, including the Public Service Administration Gold Bar in 2011.